Monday 13 July 2015

How To Prepare For Any Job Interview

Imagine yourself striding confidently and brimming with energy into your future employer’s offices. You can’t wait to show your interviewer that you’re exactly the person they’re searching for, and the buzz surrounding you is worlds away from the butterflies flitting nervously in the stomachs of the other candidates waiting in line.

As this blog post explains, there’s nothing extraordinarily difficult in preparing for a job interview. With some practice, everybody can learn how to control and convey the best impression possible of themselves to their employers, and sticking into their memory long after you walked out of their offices.

Do your research

Show your employer they can already consider you an “insider” even before you signed your contract. Read up the latest news items and press releases about the organisation you’re applying at, and think about the contribution you would give if a similar event where to happen again. If the company won any accolades, find out which professional qualities were rewarded and make sure you connect these qualities to your own strengths and abilities.

Pre-empt the three commonest interview questions

If you were to record interviews from a dozen different industries you’d probably find that 90% of the questions that were asked to the candidates were identical. Use this tendency among interviewers to stick to tried-and-tested questions to your advantage by writing down your answers for the commonest ones. These include classics like:
  • Tell me more about yourself? 
  • What is your greatest strength? 
  • What is your greatest weakness? 
  • Why do you want this job?

Also from our blog:

Use anecdotes to sell your skills

Everybody loves a good story! Instead of listing your qualities as if you were reading the features and specifications on the box of a new widget, tell an anecdote from your past professional, academic or personal experiences that illustrate a favourable trait in action. Besides being more memorable, stories help you engage with people on an emotional level, which boosts your chances of “winning them over”. On the other hand, appealing only to interviewers’ logical/critical/analytical side is more likely to keep you off the shortlist.

Rehearse, revise and relax

Finally, remember to take it easy. Don’t let over-preparation snuff out your personality, or scripted answers take away the spontaneity that characterises good conversations. Rehearse and revise the points or paragraphs you wrote down as much as you feel necessary, but once you feel confident enough just push them aside and let your creativity take over.

The opinion an employer forms about you during your first minutes of interaction together will almost certainly determine whether one or two weeks later you’ll receive an email that begins with the words “We regret to inform you…” or not.

By carefully researching your prospective employers (the company in general and key people), writing answers for common interview questions, selecting anecdotes that emphasise desirable traits, and rehearsing your delivery, you’re virtually guaranteed to improve your odds of making a great first impression, and acing your next interview.

Let’s pencil in a couple of interviews in your diary today! 

Make sure to check our website for a complete list of vacancies available in Malta and abroad, and get sign up for our e-newsletter to receive more helpful advice in your inbox on finding the perfect job and fast-tracking your career path.


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